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October 16th, 2007

Buying a Stair Climber is a significant investment. These machines tend to be used at a gym rather than domestic use. They are not cheap and should not be confused with Steppers or Lateral Thigh Trainers. Separate Buyers Guides will soon be available to help you with these devices.

Why do I want a Stair Climber?
You may have already decided that you want a Stair Climber, but just pause for a second and write down your reasons.

Remember, the machine will occupy a reasonable amount of space and will remain in the garage, bedroom or lounge for a long time each day without being used. Therefore, you want to make sure that you will use it, that it meets your current and future needs, that it will fit in comfortably with your surroundings and you like the look of it.

How will I use the machine?
Depending on how you’re going to use the Stair Climber will depend on the type you should buy. If you’re going to use the machine at a low intensity a few times a week then you could buy a cheaper machine with a less resistance. However, if you’re looking to do some rigorous workouts then you’ll need to spend at the higher end of the market.

How much do I want to spend?
The amount of money you have available to spend and how you’re going to use the machine will influence the type of Climber you should buy. As a rule of thumb, the more you have to spend the better the build quality, the more functions you get and aftercare service.

How much space have I got?
Stair Climbers occupy a significant amount of space. Therefore measure the amount of space you have available and compare this with the dimensions of the machine you’re thinking of buying. Remember that you will be standing on the machine, and therefore you’ll want to make sure that you’re not going to hit your head on a light fitting or ceiling!

What resistance system do I need?
Most of the Stair Climbers have a self powered generator system that provides the resistance. You should make sure that the machine can provide resistance levels that match your current and future needs.

What maximum user weight should I get?
Most manufacturers specify the maximum user weight for their machines. As a guide, choose a machine that has a Max. User Weight of around 20kg (45lbs) more than the heaviest user. This will help to reduce the workload on the climbing mechanism.

What are the programmes and how do they benefit me?
Good quality Climbers come with a number of different workout programmes. The number of programmes and type of programmes will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The most popular type of programmes are hill training and heart rate zone.

The programmes can benefit you by giving you a varied and challenging session that will keep you motivated.

What is heart rate training?
Heart rate training programmes work by changing the intensity of your workout to keep your heart rate at a specific level. You will normally have to enter some personal details via the console, for example, age, weight, gender. The machine will calculate an estimated maximum heart rate and control the workload by altering the speed and/or incline.

Your heart rate is monitored by the machine via hand grip sensors on the Climber or a chest strap that sends a signal to the console.

How much warranty can I expect?
Most manufacturers will cover parts and labour for the first years. If you’re going to be using your Climber a lot then look for a warranty cover that has a longer period.

Try before you buy.
It may not be possible to try a Climber before you buy it, but you should at least go down to your local fitness store and have a look around. You can always ask your friends for their experiences and they may be able to give you some pointers.

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